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Storing food in extreme climates.
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  1. #1
    MikeSurvives
    Guest

    Storing food in extreme climates.

    I've been storing food since June, and I live in an area that can have heat waves throughout the summer. We don't have basements, and the house I rent is not insulated properly, which also means air conditioning is useless. I have come home to temps in my house in at around 100. I'm really concerned that the nutrition value will be gone before it's time. I cannot seem to find any sites that have advice on this topic. Any good advice for storage ideas in hot climates would be appreciated! Thanks, Mike

  2. #2
    mzdz
    Guest

    Re: Storing food in extreme climates.

    My suggestion is to store two groups of food - a rotating supply of semi-perishables that you would use anyway. Catch the sales when you can and stock up on canned goods and eat and rotate as you go. ie., you might go through 6 cans of green beans in a month of usual fare - buy 12 and eat 6, buy 6 more and move the oldest to the front and the new cans to the back.
    K-rations (military packs) are heat resistant - they unfortunately taste like that but they contain calories and some nutrients and are non perishable, these are your "store". Remember that your buying power is better today then it will be tomorrow due to inflation so any non perishable rice, beans etc you can afford today in bulk will make a less expensive meal tomorrow - you can rotate these items too. And root cellars were dug in back yards in the south to keep food goods cooler 100 years ago for good reason.

  3. #3
    MikeSurvives
    Guest

    Re: Storing food in extreme climates.

    Quote Originally Posted by mzdz
    My suggestion is to store two groups of food - a rotating supply of semi-perishables that you would use anyway. Catch the sales when you can and stock up on canned goods and eat and rotate as you go. ie., you might go through 6 cans of green beans in a month of usual fare - buy 12 and eat 6, buy 6 more and move the oldest to the front and the new cans to the back.
    K-rations (military packs) are heat resistant - they unfortunately taste like that but they contain calories and some nutrients and are non perishable, these are your "store". Remember that your buying power is better today then it will be tomorrow due to inflation so any non perishable rice, beans etc you can afford today in bulk will make a less expensive meal tomorrow - you can rotate these items too. And root cellars were dug in back yards in the south to keep food goods cooler 100 years ago for good reason.

    Thanks, mzdz! I have everything you've mentioned, a "rotating supply" (approximately 6 months), Dehydrated fruits and veggies (1 year supply), Rice and wheat (1 year supply).... So, the problem lies in keeping it between 55-60 degrees, to keep those things fresh, even the rotating can. I do like your root cellar idea. I'll look into that. Would think rodents could be a problem!

    Thank you, M

  4. #4
    Big Foot
    Guest

    Re: Storing food in extreme climates.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSurvives
    Quote Originally Posted by mzdz
    My suggestion is to store two groups of food - a rotating supply of semi-perishables that you would use anyway. Catch the sales when you can and stock up on canned goods and eat and rotate as you go. ie., you might go through 6 cans of green beans in a month of usual fare - buy 12 and eat 6, buy 6 more and move the oldest to the front and the new cans to the back.
    K-rations (military packs) are heat resistant - they unfortunately taste like that but they contain calories and some nutrients and are non perishable, these are your "store". Remember that your buying power is better today then it will be tomorrow due to inflation so any non perishable rice, beans etc you can afford today in bulk will make a less expensive meal tomorrow - you can rotate these items too. And root cellars were dug in back yards in the south to keep food goods cooler 100 years ago for good reason.

    Thanks, mzdz! I have everything you've mentioned, a "rotating supply" (approximately 6 months), Dehydrated fruits and veggies (1 year supply), Rice and wheat (1 year supply).... So, the problem lies in keeping it between 55-60 degrees, to keep those things fresh, even the rotating can. I do like your root cellar idea. I'll look into that. Would think rodents could be a problem!

    Thank you, M
    Hi M:
    There are root cellar instructions out there, booklets about bomb shelters and such from the 60's, and a book about the $50 underground house. I haven't dug one on my current house yet, but we did dig one under my parents old house fifty years ago, in Perris, Calif. That's a desert area, with 120 degree days in the summer. We stored Watermelons down there for a couple months at a time, potatoes, onions. Canned goods would have stored perfectly. And the four legged pests are not a problem if the stuff is stored in steel. Plastic soesn't work, I have seen them chew holes in the bottom of my water bottles, bags, etc.

  5. #5
    solar_biscuit
    Guest

    Re: Storing food in extreme climates.

    There is no way to get around the fact that you must dig. You can dig a cellar, or dig holes large enough to insert 55 gallon drums. Once you get down four feet below he surface level, the temperature stays a constant 55 degrees, regardless of heat waves or cold snaps. I face your same problem and am looking to bury a shipping container with my fellow "urban survivalists". solar_biscuit@yahoo.com in Reno NV.

  6. #6
    Gypsy Jane
    Guest
    I have the same problem, but with no possibility of digging: I live in a motorhome.

  7. #7
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    21
    In many cases, the daily fluctuation in temperatures is a bigger problem than the actual temperature.

    Something that I'm currently testing is putting water bottles (for ballast) in an ice chest in my car on 100 degree days.

    So far, I'm finding that the coolers I own are very poorly insulated and I'm looking for inexpensive, well insulated ice chests. If you have any first hand experience with particular brands and models of ice chests, please let me know.

  8. #8
    Unregistered
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Admin03 View Post
    In many cases, the daily fluctuation in temperatures is a bigger problem than the actual temperature.

    Something that I'm currently testing is putting water bottles (for ballast) in an ice chest in my car on 100 degree days.

    So far, I'm finding that the coolers I own are very poorly insulated and I'm looking for inexpensive, well insulated ice chests. If you have any first hand experience with particular brands and models of ice chests, please let me know.
    I purchased an Igloo Maxcold 50 Qt ice chest for my boat. It claims that it can hold ice for up to 5 days in 90 degree heat. The key here is "up to". I recently purchased 32 lbs of ice for a party. I placed the bags into this chest. It never got opened. 24 hours later, I opened it and there was some ice in it, but only about 8 or 10 lbs. The ice chest was on the floor of my garage for the entire time. The temp may have ranged from 95 degF to 85 degF for the period. No sunlight.
    In my opinion, this thing will never make it 5 days. It may have cool water in it after such a period, but certainly no ice.
    When we go boating out to the islands, we usually fill it with drinks and then top it off with ice. We spend about 8 hours or so with it in the sun and constantly being opened. We usually have a good bit of ice left when we get home. So for short term use, it works great. I don't think it can live up to it's promise of 5 days though.

  9. #9
    savingandsurviving
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by solar_biscuit View Post
    There is no way to get around the fact that you must dig. You can dig a cellar, or dig holes large enough to insert 55 gallon drums. Once you get down four feet below he surface level, the temperature stays a constant 55 degrees, regardless of heat waves or cold snaps. I face your same problem and am looking to bury a shipping container with my fellow "urban survivalists". solar_biscuit@yahoo.com in Reno NV.
    Something that works well is to take an old non-working freezer (chest style is best but upright will work) and bury it 4-5 feet underground on the north side of your home so it gets less sun (if this is possible). Pile solid bails of straw on top to insulate from the sun. Better yet is if you have a hill on your property, dig into the hill and make it more like a very small celler. Keep in mind that the seal must be good or you will have pest get into your stock. I think I saw the idea in a booklet from Storey Publishing. I got it at my library years ago but I know it's available on their website. They have LOTS of very good books on "old time" ways of doing things. Many are available at local libraries or can be had through inter-library loan programs. Check that out before spending money on a book, I have weeded out many a poor books and found some true gems that way. Also look into the Foxfire books. Great info in them.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    west
    Posts
    47
    You might try making/buying a swamp cooler (evaporator cooler). This should drop your house temperature by 20 degrees and they are cheap to run. You will want to check with your landlord before you start digging holes in his property.

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